Home-support clients in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions “will have their care directly managed and delivered by their health authority” in the next year, according to Fraser Health.
A news release from Fraser Health said the health authorities will both shift to in-house delivery for the majority of the home support services they provide. Home support, reads the release, is provided by community health workers who visit a client’s home to provide assistance with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing and grooming and other care needs as well as support and relief for a client’s primary caregiver.
Within the two health regions, more than 24,500 people receive home-support services annually and represents more then five million hours of home support services a year, the release reads.
Fraser Health, according to the release, currently provides 37 per cent of home support services in-house and “will move to approximately 90 per cent” in the next year. Vancouver Coastal Health currently provides 26 per cent of home support services, and it will also move to about 90 per cent in the next 12 to 18 months.
The release says the transition to provide more in-house delivery will begin in the coming weeks.
The change, according to the release, is being made as the contracts with external services providers are set to expire in March 2020.
The release says the health authorities “will not be renewing these contracts as they work with the Ministry of Health to prepare for new investments and enhancements in home support care.”
“Both Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health have identified opportunities to better integrate services offered by the health authorities and their own teams of care providers, particularly given the rise in demand for home support services in their regions,” the release reads. “They have determined that bringing the services in-house is the best way to leverage these opportunities and provide more consistent and coordinated care.”
The release says there are “many advantages” to moving to an in-house model, such as improved co-ordination of care for seniors and “the ability to better track and manage a complex service delivery model to ensure effective and efficient care.”
The release says the changes follow audits of contracted home-support providers, not for profit and not for profit. The audits looked at varying time periods from 2014 to 2017, depending on the contract provider.
The Ministry of Health has appointed Lynn Stevenson, the ministry’s former associate deputy minister of health services, “to provide oversight and guide the process of moving home support services in-house,” the release reads.